“Motivation waxes and wanes but discipline will carry you through those hard times”
~ Todd Cline
As I thought about what it would mean to give myself over to a year long experiment, I thought about something I read once about the benefits of “SMART goals:” Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. I chose A Month of Yoga as my first experiment because I want to start the year off cultivating discipline. If my larger goal is to seize 2019 and live more intentionally, I feel like I should start with the basics.
I have been practicing yoga for 12 years. It hasn’t been all beach yoga and handstands. More often than not, I am the type of yogi who can be found weeping softly in half pigeon. Some of those years I barely looked at my mat while other years it was the one thing that could reliably bring me peace throughout the day. My practice has been patchy at times, but I keep coming back to the mat. I’ve found it is a practice that really works for me.
This past summer, after years of thinking about it, I finally did a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification. My nebulous goals for the course were to deepen my practice, master proper alignment, explore anatomy, delve into yoga philosophy, learn smart sequencing, lead confidently, and develop this as a hard skill I might be able to use as a side-hustle. I was all gung-ho about teaching privately and creating workshops when I landed a full-time job and my priorities began to shift. It was easier for me to prioritize my practice when I had the flexibility to go to class whenever I felt like it. My preference for mid-morning yoga didn’t exactly jive with my new 9-5 work schedule, and I fell off the wagon. So, my first challenge will revolve around sticking to my personal routines and prioritizing that which brings me peace. If a happy and fulfilling life is the goal, I must routinely do that which makes me happy and feel fulfilled.
Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
Specific: Practice a whole lot of yoga
Measurable: I will keep a log of my practice
Achievable: At least 15 minutes a day. Not a huge time commitment, more is better, but focus on consistently achieving the goal.
Relevant: Having a daily yoga practice helps me to cultivate discipline, mindfulness, and intention. This will set the groundwork for the rest of my experiments.
Time-bound: 15 minutes per day for 31 days. How hard could it be?
Wish me luck!